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For lively salsa or tender coffee cake ... it's rhubarb time.

Rosy-colored rhubarb is most tender and pink when hothouse grown the only choice in the market now. Although a vegetable, rhubarb is treated like a fruit. It's intensely tart and crisp, so it needs cooking to make it soft and sweetening to make it palatable. The tender coffee cake and creamy pudding use rhubarb this way, But raw, sour rhubarb, used discreetly, is also interesting, as in the salsa for the orange salad.

Select crisp, brightly colored, unblemished stalks trimmed of leaves. The dark green leaves are dangerously toxic. Orange Salad with Rhubarb Salsa

3/4 cup finely diced rhubarb

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup finely diced peeled jicama

6 large red radishes, finely diced Ginger dressing (recipe follows)

6 large butter lettuce leaves, washed and crisped

3 large oranges, peeled, with white membrane cut off

In a small bowl, combine rhubarb and sugar; let stand until juices form, about 30 minutes. Add jicama, radishes, and ginger dressing; mix well. Set salsa aside. Line each of 6 salad plates with a lettuce leaf. Thinly slice oranges crosswise; arrange equal portions on lettuce. Spoon salsa onto oranges. Serves 6.

Per serving: 98 caL; 1.3 g protein; 0.4 g fat; 24 g carbo.; 7. 8 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Ginger dressing. Stir together 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons finely minced crystallized ginger, and 1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Coffee Cake with Crunch Topping

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 CUP (1/4 Lb.) butter or margarine, cut into small pieces

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberry-rhubarb filling (recipe follows)

Crunch topping (recipe follows)

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub butter into flour mixture until coarse crumbs form.

Beat eggs to blend with buttermilk and vanilla; stir into flour mixture just until evenly moistened.

Spread batter in a buttered 7- by 11 -inch baking dish. Evenly spoon filling onto batter; coarsely crumble topping over filling. Bake in a 350[deg] oven until a toothpick inserted in center (not in filling) comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve warm or cool. Cut into 8 to 10 pieces. Makes 8 to 10 servings. -Carol Van Brocklin, Port Angeles, Wash.

Per serving: 423 cal; 6.2 g protein; 17 g fat; 62 g carbo.; 366 mg sodium; 97 mg chol.

Strawberry-rhubarh filling. In a 2- to 3quart pan over medium heat, combine 2-1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces; 1-1/2 cups strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced; and 1/2 cup sugar. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is soft when pierced, about 5 minutes. Combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water; add to rhubarb mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring. Let cool.

Crunch topping. Combine 3/4 cup allpurpose flour and 1/4 cup sugar. With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub 1/2 cup butter or margarine into flour mixture until fine crumbs form. With your hands, squeeze mixture into large lumps.

Rhubarb Cream

1-1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

5 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

1 tablespoon orange-flavor liqueur

1 large egg white

1/2 cup whipping cream

Combine rhubarb, 1/4 cup sugar, water, and 1 teaspoon of the orange peel in a 1to 1-1/2-quart pan over medium-high heat; cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is very soft when pierced, 5 to 7 minutes, Stir in liqueur, then cover and chill rhubarb until cold, about 2 hours.

Whip egg white until foamy. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating until white holds stiff, moist peaks, In another bowl whip cream with same (unrinsed) beaters untit it holds soft peaks. With rubber spatula, gently fold rhubarb mixture and egg white into cream, blending only until puree runs through cream in streaks. Spoon mixture into 4 stemmed dessert glasses (8- to 10-oz. size). Garnish with reserved orange peel. Serve, or cover and chill up to 6 hours. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving : 173 cal; 1.9 g protein; 9.3 g fat; 20 g carbo.; 25 mg sodium; 33 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1989
Words:720
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